The Institutionalization of Global Internet Governance: Multistakeholderism, Multilateralism and Beyond

Friday, 6 December, 2013 - 14:00 to Saturday, 7 December, 2013 - 17:00
World Trade Institute, Hallerstrasse 6, 3012 Bern - Silva Casa Auditorium


Biannual Conference of the Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS), hosted by the
World Trade Institute, Bern (University of Bern)

Internet governance is a complex and multi-faceted topic. It engages a broad range of institutions of different character, with different types of representation and decision-making processes – some of them, such as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), have been specifically created to address a narrow set of questions regarding the architecture and the functioning of the Internet, and have over the years assumed broader policy-making functions.

Others are traditional multilateral types of organizations, which pre-exist the Internet as a technological invention and as a complex social, economic, and cultural phenomenon, and have struggled to catch up and position themselves as actors in the Internet governance landscape.

Increasingly, states have adopted unilateral strategies for the pursuit of critical national interests or sought solutions in smaller, often informal venues. Non-state actors proliferate and also engage in diverse governing functions with or without state oversight.

Needless to note, there are vital interests at stake in the design of the global architecture of Internet governance and its sustainability. They regard not only critical economic interests in the burgeoning electronic commerce and Internet-driven innovation but also fundamental values, such as freedom of information, privacy, and democracy. The institutional choices as to the future of Internet governance are not preordained and the paths towards institutional consolidation, international co-operation or contestation and fragmentation are yet to be taken.

It is the objective of this conference to get together a group of scholars, representatives of international and non-governmental organizations, independent experts and stakeholders to discuss the present and the future of institutionalizing internet governance, the costs and benefits and viability of different scenarios, and their implications across a range of issue-areas.

Speakers include: Bertrand de la Chapelle (Director, Internet & Jurisdiction Project), Theresa Swinehart (Senior Advisor to President on Strategy, ICANN),  Markus Kummer (Vice President, The Internet Society), Keynote speech by Frédéric Riehl (Director "International Affairs", Swiss Federal Office of Communications).











Day One, 6 December 2013 - 15:00-18:00


Keynote Speech by Frédéric Riehl, Swiss Federal Office of Communications
Positioning Switzerland in the Internet Governance Landscape

Moderator/Discussant: William J. Drake and Benedikt Wechsler (Swiss Federal Office of Foreign Affairs)


Day Two, 7 December 2013 - 09:00-17:00





Venue: Silva Casa Auditorium, World Trade Institute, Hallerstrasse 6, 3012 Bern

How to get there